Repo Rocks notches his fourth win in a row when taking the Feb. 25 Stymie (NYRA/Coglianese)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Double B Racing Stables’ Repo Rocks, a leading contender for Saturday’s seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, has posted a pair of bullet works at his Parx Racing base since an impressive 3 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Stymie on February 25 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Jamie Ness, the 5-year-old Tapiture gelding worked a half-mile in 47.46 seconds on March 18 and followed on March 27 with a five-eighths effort in 58.36.
“He’s been tearing the track up, but he’s been doing that for a while now,” Ness said. “He’s a horse that likes to train. We train on him pretty strong and as you can see by his workouts, fast horses work fast. We’ll give him a little blowout again tomorrow and if everything goes right, we’ll be right on track. We’re just trying to follow the same path that we followed to the last couple stakes.”
Repo Rocks, carrying a field-high 124 pounds in the one-turn mile Stymie, overcame a troubled trip under regular rider Andrew Wolfsont where he was boxed in behind rivals in third position before finding a way out late in the turn to best Grade 1-placed Miles D.
Ness said a good result next weekend could propel Repo Rocks to the Grade 1, $ 1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 10 at Belmont Park which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Santa Anita Park.
“If he runs good on the weekend and comes out of it well, that would definitely be in play,” Ness said. “The owner is from the area, so I want to run him up there as much as possible.”
Repo Rocks is undefeated in four starts since joining the Ness stable, taking the Let’s Give Thanks in November and Blitzen on January 4 at Parx ahead of an 8 1/2-length score in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Toboggan on January 28 at the Big A that garnered a 111 Beyer Speed Figure. Wolfsont, who earned his first graded score in the Toboggan, has piloted Repo Rocks throughout the four-race all-stakes win streak and will retain the mount.
Ness, a perennial leading trainer Parx, won the training title at the recently concluded Laurel Park winter meet. He has previously chased Grade 1 glory with Ghost Hunter [11th, 2017 Arlington Million] and Sneaking Uponyou [6th, 2010 Nearctic at Woodbine], but said he is hopeful that Repo Rocks is capable of landing him a fourth career graded score as a trainer.
“This is a Grade 1 and it’s not an easy race. We’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game and hopefully we have him ready for that,” Ness said. “He’s prepared and I think he’s shown that he’s capable of performing at that level. I’m just looking forward to it – no jitters. I’m just hoping everything goes right from now until when they open up the gates, and may the best horse win.”
Bred in Virginia by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, III, Repo Rocks boasts a record of 33-8-6-6 for purse earnings of $639,621.